ACITM’s Top 21 Kanye West Features

I’ve been wanting to do this for months and I finally found the time to scientifically break down every single aspect of Mr. Kanye West’s music. Actually, after hearing Ye’s verse on “Birthday Song” I started to get sentimental about how far we’ve seen Chicago’s very own come. He was Common’s guy, Jay-Z’s guy, then blew up the hip hop world with College Dropout. From there we saw Late Registration, Graduation, a switch up with 808’s and Heartbreaks, one of the best rap albums of our generation in My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and the debut from hip hop mega powers Jay and Ye in Watch the Throne. He’s always maniacally dedicated himself to his own releases, and his genius has been responsible for G.O.O.D. Music taking over the game in recent months.

Without further ado, here are the 21 best songs that were not officially Kanye’s, that he ended up owning with a killer feature anyway. If you’re interested in downloading the feature, all 21 songs, head on over to our facebook page and be one of the first 50 to comment on the post. A surprise will then appear in your inbox (only if you already like our page!). Enjoy!

Follow along with this ACITM 8Tracks playlist, playing the songs in order from 21 to 1 (press next until you hear Infamous Syndicate playing, from there it will flow in order).

21. Infamous Syndicate – What You Do To Me

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: Don’t get me wrong you still gotta live close to me, This ain’t a song I made for ugly hoes to start approachin’ me, You know how this go, I diss hoes, I’m very mean now, my Roley face green now, I bring your self esteem down

About: On the debut album from Chicago hip hop duo Shawnna and Teefa, the song was released in 1999. Never the lead single (or a single in fact), this was before anyone knew Kanye could rap. Their track “Here I Go” still gets some throwback radio play.

20. Jin – I Got A Love

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: I got a love that’s better than – you ever was, You’ve never been – no good for me, I guess I was – just way too hood for you to be with

About: No, this isn’t the Tekken street fighter… it’s the Ruff Ryder rapper that came onto the scene after winning 7 battles in a row on BET’s 106 & Park. The track came out in 2004, and in the remixed version, Kanye dropped a verse that would later be used on “I Wonder” from his album Graduation. 

19. Dame Dash’s Dream Team – We Are The Champions

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: Make it street but it just might pop, make it straight to the mountain top, Had the Chi’ on lock, when they finally heard I signed with Roc, Came in the game, changed it again, changed everything, yeahhhhh, If you feeling this here, throw your fucking hands in the air

About: The Queen sample is significant because… well because the beat is one of the best I’ve ever heard. If you’ve never listened to this song, or the original Queen one, before a sporting event you’ve been missing out. The track is also significant because it’s one of the first times Kanye got a chance to rap on a would be hit. Dame Dash is the former co head of Roc-A-Fella talking at the beginning.

18. Cam’ron – Down and Out

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: But our flow’s the truest (oh), The game’s in a nuisance (no no), Our girls is the models (oh), They coochies the juiciest (ooooh)

About: One of 2 songs included that don’t actually feature a Kanye verse, Killa Cam, the founder of Dipset, released this song in 2004 on his 4th studio album, Purple Haze. Long after the track was released, Cam and Jim Jones released a Kanye diss song over “Runaway,” attacking Ye for his split with Dame Dash.

17. The Game – Wouldn’t Get Far

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: Pop quiz, how many topless, black foxes, Did I have under my belt, like boxers, Not to brag but, if it add up, One, two… nigga that’s mad nuts

About: A beat originally made for Common (imagine what the song would have been about if he took it), The Game criticizes a bunch of different video vixens. Vida Guerra was actually so upset, she made a 30 second rap diss about The Game, saying he was desperate for her. Ah drama.

16. Common – They Say

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: Ahh… The sweet taste of victory, Go head and breathe it in like antihistamine, I know they sayin “Damn, Yay snapped wit this beat!”, Fuck you expect? I’ve got a history

About: From Common’s Be, an album that peaked at #2 on Billboard 200 album chart, the song was never a single but still got nominated for a Grammy. The track was the first one that featured all 3 (at the time) G.O.O.D. Music members, in Common, John Legend, and Ye.

15. Pharrell – Number One

Kanye Produced? No

Best Kanye Line: Yesterday I was half the man you see, Baby thats because you the other half of me, You my number 1 hit on the line of the charts, I’mma FedEx my love and have you sign for my heart

About: The first track on the list so far NOT produced by Kanye, it was released in 2006 on Pharrell’s debut album In My Mind. Ye mentions Myspace in his verse… yes you should feel old.

14. Rick Ross – Live Fast, Die Young

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: My outfit so disrespectful, You can go ‘head and sneeze cause my presence blessed you, I mean, we walked in this bitch so stylish, Niggas done mistook me for my stylist

About: One of the newer songs on the countdown (released in 2010), “Live Fast, Die Young” was like YOLO before everybody and their parents knew what YOLO meant. The song was hailed as Kanye’s return to rapping, after 808’s and Heartbreaks was met with mixed reactions.

13. Miri Ben Ari – Fly Away

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: I went platinum, And I don’t rap guns, My diamonds is whiter then Michael Jackson’s, Me and Miri make music you can hold to time, So take a second to listen it may blow your mind

About: The Israeli hip hop violinist did in fact release 4 albums, all after serving the mandatory stint in the Israeli military. The song was released in 2005, the same year Miri won a Grammy for her part in writing Ye’s “Jesus Walks.”

12. White Boy – You Know

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: Kanye the best in the game, now we got that, that thing clear, Kanye West is the name, Southside up in here, Y’all niggas stole the soul, y’all niggas all some clones, Y’all need to change y’all tone, nigga I control the gold

About: Yes, the goofy dude with a fro on our ACITM Kanye Features cover above, is actually a rapper named White Boy. The Berlin, Germany native actually signed with Chicago based company ICEE Records, who noticed the rapper after destroying the Chicago underground battle scene.

11. Malik Yusef – Wouldn’t You Like To Ride 

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: I had that little ass Nissan at your crib showin’ up, Liquor store out of Arbor Mist, we Irish Rosed it up, Then we rolled to the movies, you rocked your fake Chloes, You had Gap and Gucci, that’s still two G’s

About: Malik Yusef, another member of the original G.O.O.D. Music crew, grew up with Common in Chicago, and won 6 straight Best Poet awards at the Chicago Music Awards. He also co-wrote “All of the Lights.”

10. Consequence – So Soulful

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: If I talk to people like they stupid as hell, Do that mean God gonna make my kids stupid as well?, Well, Our Father, please for give me, I am sinner, slash winner, slash soul inventor

About: Consequence went all crazy in 2011 and launched diss track after diss track about G.O.O.D. Music, which he left after saying Kanye didn’t care about him or his music career. Sad, because beats and tracks like this were the best thing Consequence ever released. Maybe a spot on the ACITM list will cheer him up.

9. Clipse – Kinda Like A Big Deal

Kanye Produced? No

Best Kanye Line: Ayo, I’m sitting on top of the..it’s More Than a Feeling, ain’t it? I be killing, damn it, I’m ill and I’m ill and ay-ay-ay! Meet Mr. Popular, go get your binoculars, And see Penthouse 3 where a nigga be

About: Pusha-T, now one of the heavyweights in Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music crew, is also in a rap group called Clipse, with brother Gene Thornton. They’re planning on releasing a new album in 2013. With a solo album, the G.O.O.D. Music album, and the Clipse album, Pusha is about to have a hell of a busy year.

8. Talib Kweli – Get By (Remix)

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: It’s something about that Nina Simone’s piano flow, It’s like a Michaelangelo painted a portrait of Maya Angelou, And gave it to a sick poet for they antidote, If music get’s you choked up this is the tree and a rope

About: Featuring Mos Def, Jay-Z, and Kanye on the remix, there’s no way this song wasn’t cracking this list. Basically these 4 stunted on the rap world. The original track is from Talib’s 2002 album Quality, an instant classic.

7. Jay-Z – The Bounce  

Kanye Produced? No

Best Kanye Line: You did “Takeover,” do you got beef with Nas? I did take over the game, brought back the soul, Got tracks to go, got plaques that’s gold, Platinum to go, yeah that’s the flow

About: Right around the time when everyone realized Kanye was more of a producer, he was a very, very skilled rapper as well. Jay let him on an album that debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and The Blueprint 2: The Gift and The Curse, is hailed as the jump start to his rap career.

6. Rhymefest – Brand New

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: They say your attitude determines your latitude, I’m high as a motherfucker, fly as a motherfucker, And still the motherfucker you love to hate, But can’t, because you love what I make

About: The Chicago rapper that recently ran for Alderman (he unfortunately lost), is one of the best battle rappers in history, and his albums don’t slack at all. The song was released on Blue Collar, his 2006 debut album. He’s also a co-writer of “Jesus Walks,” which means a proud owner of a Grammy for the track.

5. Little Brother – I See Now

Kanye Produced? No

Best Kanye Line: Naw, she talkin’ bout a couple of kids for me (Aww), She hit and had a ring from Tiffany’s, Right then and there I had an epiphany, I swear since that day I’ve been treatin’ fat hoes differently

About: Although they’re no longer making music together, Little Brother was compromised of Phonte, Big Pooh, and 9th Wonder, they’re considered one of the best to do it. They ended up breaking up to save their friendship (what is this, a chick flick?).

4. Slum Village – Selfish

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: From the Polo fleece to the Jesus piece, I got family in high places like Jesus’ niece, Can I please, say my peace, If y’all fresh to death, Then I’m deceased

About: 2 of the original 3 members of the legendary group have died (RIP J Dilla and Baatin), but their mark on hip hop is forever. They released 6 albums, and this particular track, on Detroit Deli, gained mainstream attention thanks to the buzz around Kanye after College Dropout.

3. Ghostface Killah – Back Like That Remix

Kanye Produced? No

Best Kanye Line: We at the spot to chill, where the food get grilled, She ordered the Kobe beef like Shaquille O’Neal, Second I walked in, the whole room got still, I don’t know how to put this but, I’m kind of a big deal

About: The original track is Ghostface’s most popular solo single ever, and he liked it so much he charted a Kanye West remix for his 2006 album More Fish. Oh the Shaq and Kobe beef, back when the Lakers were in turmoil. I miss those days.

2. Consequence – Grammy Family

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: From the Chi, the city of hella haters, Where we keep risin to the top like elevators, Hi haters, I’m back off hiatus, I feel just like you, I mean even I hate us

About: No disrespect with the picture Consequence… but this man gave you beat after beat that any other rapper would have killed over. It’s not Ye’s fault he stunted on you in every song you guys had together!

1. Dilated Peoples – This Way

Kanye Produced? Yes

Best Kanye Line: My favorite girl wanna leave just because I got a girlfriend, My freak girl told me “now, she a christian,” My white girl wanna move back to Michigan, I’m pullin girls off the bench like a “sixth-man”

About: Was there ever a question over what the best Kanye feature was? I can probably rap this song backwards if you asked me to. The 2004 Neighborhood Watch album caught Kanye right as he was buzzing his way to the top of the hip hop ladder, and allowed for the track to be one of the groups only mainstream successes. Babu, Evidence, and Rakaa are considered underground legends, and this fusion with a mainstream star was perfectly crafted, which is why it takes home the number 1 spot in this countdown.

Did we leave any songs off? Do you disagree with the rankings? Let us know! Remember, if you want to download the songs in one big zip file, like us on facebook and be one of the first 50 people to comment on this post (the facebook version).

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Features, Michael

4 responses to “ACITM’s Top 21 Kanye West Features

  1. Kanye West #1 Fan

    How in the world did the writer miss Estelle’s “American Boy”, “Run This Town” by Jay-Z and “Number One” by John Legend?!!! All three of these should be top 10 at least. I’m appalled.

    Kid Cudi’s “Erase Me” should have also made the list.

    A list with 21 spots and these songs don’t make it!? C’MON MAN.

  2. MikeTheGiftWrapper

    Wait….

    Why 21?? Why not like 10 or 20 or 25?? What a random ass number!

  3. Simon

    I’d expand this to 25 dude. You had a lot of the good ones up there (im glad you ranked selfish and this way so high btw) but others still deserve acknowledgement.

    Run This Town- Even if you’re not feeling ye particularly on this track, i think he deserves respect for anchoring a jay single and plus he straight up sons him on it too.

    Hold On (Extended Remix)- A verse full of magazine title entendres that work together perfectly? Nuff said.

    The Good, The Bad, The Ugly- When this joint first popped up, I was hearing it out of so many dudes cars in the city. Probably due to the cold beat and the line: “Good morning to Chi-Town, where my niggas ride down to bust clowns and look for bust downs to bust down”

    Start It Up- This verse would probably crack the top 5 in my list honestly. Too many good lines and its one of those uber confident verses that Ye just swaggers all over with his signature swag juice.

    That’s 25. I’d argue for “Put on” too but i can see leaving it out because, well, fuck autotune.

    Anyways, that’s just to add to your list- not take away from it. Good work, homie g.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s